Cloud platform solution provider Akamai has released its latest “State of the Internet” report, which includes a section on mobile connectivity that examines the most popular mobile browsers. According the study, when all network types are taken into consideration, Apple’s Mobile Safari has the highest rate of usage at 54 percent of total mobile network access requests. Android Webkit is second, but comes in at a distant 27.6 percent.
The numbers are more equal on cellular networks, which excludes Wi-Fi connections and other alternatives. Focusing only on cell services, Safari got 34 percent of the networking masses but Android scored higher at approximately 38 percent of requests.
Why Apple Reigns
Analysis indicates that Apple gets a mobile boost from its many products that are Wi-Fi only or set to use Wi-Fi access before going to cell signals. Meanwhile, Android offers a variety of lower-end devices that are used primarily for traditional activities instead of online access, which may dilute its results. But the primary message of Akamai’s study appears to be that iOS users are generally more active, especially in online activities. Culture, generational choices, the proximity of users to dependable Internet connections and other factors may be at work behind the numbers.
From a developer perspective, this type of data may encourage companies to develop apps and features for Apple’s iPhone and iPad before turning to Android. If budget constraints or design limitations force companies to focus on a single device, they will choose the mobile browsers that yield the most engagement.
This may be bad news for Android when it comes to content creators, but for now the consumer world sees a different picture. According to expert commentary, the latest iOS and Android offerings reveal that the two brands are more similar than ever before — freely imitating each other and borrowing useful design features in their latest iterations. As it becomes more difficult for customers to distinguish between these two mobile browsers, the app market may emerge as a deciding factor in purchase decisions. If the greater mobile activity on iOS does lead to more development for Apple, Android could face a serious challenge in the coming year.
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